I've been shopping for a suit to wear for my wedding at the end of May (which is 10 weeks from now), and I've run into a lot of trouble. I have a slender frame with narrow, asymmetrical, sloping shoulders (upper body pic attached), and I've never been able to find an OTR jacket that fits my shoulders. I was in Brooks Borthers today, and even a 36 Milano fails the "wall test": the suit shoulders don't go as far past mine as the do in any other suit, but there's still some overhang, and there's also a vertical gap between my shoulders and the bottom of the jacket's shoulder pads. At both Brooks Brothers and Wilkes Bashford, the sales associates' advice was to go custom (and at Wilkes I know it wasn't just an upsell, since the cost was going to be the same OTR vs MTM). Now, $3000 for a custom Zegna isn't in my budget, and I'd really prefer not to spend the $1600+ for the Brooks Brothers MTM, either, so I'm hoping to get some input on what my best course of action might be. From what I've read, it seems like it's possible to get a much better value from internet MTM companies than from one of these retail stores.
I've read the general SF advice that men who are new to buying suits should generally stick to OTR until they have a good idea of what they like and don't like in a suit. I know that your first MTM suit isn't necessarily going to fit perfectly and it's an ongoing process to dial in the exact thing you want, especially when looking at an internet MTM company, so it usually only makes sense for someone who wants/needs many suits. Right now I just own one ill-fitting Men's Wearhouse suit, and I'm just hoping to buy a nice mid-grey for my wedding (and to wear to future weddings and other social events). If the need arises in the future, I could see myself getting a navy or charcoal, but that would probably be all. I don't anticipate having a job that requires suits at any point in the future. However, given the advice I'm getting from sales guys, it seems like it just won't be possible to find a decent fit OTR. Should I try going MTM, and if so, who should I be considering?
Right now, I'm mainly looking at Dragon Inside, Proper Suit, and Kent Wang. I'm near San Francisco, so I would be able to have an in-person fitting with Proper Suit, whereas I'd be relying on measurements made by my fiancee for Dragon Inside, or trying to suggest changes based on Kent Wang's sample suit. I've read great things about Kent Wang here on SF, but I'm a little worried about getting things wrong since I won't have an in-person fitting and he (quite reasonably) doesn't allow returns on custom suits. I like the idea of having a fitting with Proper Suit, but I've read that they may not offer as great a value for the money (their fully canvassed suits start at $850, but may not be as good at Kent Wang's at $800 or Dragon Inside's at $500). Dragon Inside would save me some money, and they offer free remakes/returns, but I'm worried about making all the measurements myself. Do you have any feedback on which might be the best route to explore? Are there other options I should be considering?
Edit: After seeing some of the feedback here, it sounds like seeing a tailor in-person for a true bespoke process (with multiple fittings using a basted suit) may really be my only hope for a good fit. Some initial suggestions in the San Francisco area were Spoon Tailors and Beckett and Robb, and I also saw Jay Hampton and Al's Attire mentioned elsewhere on SF. Please let me know if you have any input on these options, or other suggestions for tailors in my area that I could check out. Or, if you think that MTM might still be an option for me, please weigh in as well.
Thanks for your help!
Edited by suitnewb - 3/24/14 at 8:29am